If you haven't heard of the Gili Islands they are three small islands just off the coast of Lombok and around two hours away on a boat from Bali. There is no motor transport on any of the islands, only bicycles or horse and cart, and they are definitely what I would describe as paradise! I was lucky enough to visit in January this year and I'm so happy I got to go back.
There are so many things to love about the Gili islands; the beaches, the marine life and of course the night life! For such a small island there is plenty to do especially on Gili Trawangan where we stayed. You can either just enjoy lazing on the beach or do activities like diving, snorkelling, cooking classes, yoga or even some light shopping. Unfortunately we didn't manage to fit in a dive but last time I was able to complete an introductory dive which was hands down one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The marine life is amazing on the Gili Islands and I was able to see a variety of fish and other critters along with sea turtles!
If you're lucky you can also spot the turtles when snorkelling and the snorkelling itself is incredible! Just meters from the beach you can see so many different fish that swim right underneath you its amazing. We also did a snorkelling trip where we visited different snorkelling spots from each island and stopped off for lunch on Gili Air, the whole thing cost around £5 for five hours! It was insane for both value for money and for the marine life you were able to see. The coral was so vibrant and colourful and the fish again were amazing. They swim right past you and there are so many species including clown fish, puffer fish and huge angel fish. Is it obvious I really enjoyed the snorkelling?
The night life is another major draw for me particularly on Gili Trawangan. It is known as the party island of the three and it's clear why. Each night there is one bar that has it's designated party night which stays open late and is generally where everyone ends up. As it's such a small island the bars are close together so it's easy to go from place to place and you don't have far to stumble to get back to your hotel! We found it incredibly difficult to take a night off and played a ridiculous amount of beer pong while we were there but we had such an amazing time. It's easy to get chatting to people and it's rare to have a bad night.
On one of our last days we decided to rent a bicycle and go all the way around the island. It's so small you could walk around it in a couple of hours. It took us a couple of hours on the bikes taking it easy and having various pit stops to grab a drink, it's hard work pushing a bike through the sand where there's no path! We also stopped off on the side of the island best for watching the sunset and grabbed a drink in one of the nicer hotels. When the sky is clear the sunsets are gorgeous to watch and it was a lovely way to end the day.
I'm missing the Gili's so much as I write this but it's nice to be somewhere new and as exciting as Vietnam. Keep an eye out for my upcoming posts on what I've been up to!